Apparently, a lot of people know who Chef Edward Lee is.  It helps that these days there are a gazillion channels on TV, out of which only a jillion or so of these channels are about cooking classes, celebrity chefs, reality cooking competitions and attention-deprived cake shop owners.  Earlier this year, three-time James Beard semi-finalist for Best Chef Edward Lee, who trained in classical French kitchens and has spent the better part of a decade cooking in 610 Magnolia in Kentucky, came to town and cooked a stupendous meal for a fortunate few under the Hennessy X.O Appreciation Grows Gastronomy 2012 series.  His inspiration for the meal came from his week-long immersion in the heritage and culture of our beloved country, Malaysia, including visits to the Selayang market to Little India and interestingly enough, to Publika to experience our growing coffee culture.  Hmmm.  Anyway.

Episode 1 of Chef Edward Lee’s travelogue focuses on his visit to the Selayang wholesale market.  In this episode, he is introduced to a variety of local produce and ingredients including our very own petai (fondly known as stinkbean for obvious reasons), cili padi (bird’s eye chili) and galangal.  It’s interesting that the things we take for granted in our Malaysian kitchen, like turmeric root, are quite alien to Chef Edward Lee but he takes it all in stride.  Malaysian host, Will Quah, shows him around and seems quite at home in the market.  My favourite part is at 1:13 where Will Quah says kacang botol with such panache that I’m totally blown away. *grin*